Memory’s Role in Rhetoric

After reading the two texts, I gained a deeper understanding of memory as well as its role in rhetoric, especially digital rhetoric. In the article written by Christian Smith, I’m very intrigued by the questions at the very beginning of the text. Smith refers to questions that a keynote speaker named Anne Frances Wysocki used in a speech about memory. The questions definitely sparked me to think about memory, its relation to rhetoric/digital rhetoric, and how I use memory. Personally, I tend to use memory with my academics; I memorize the material I learn in my classes so that I can not only use it on my exams and papers but be able to have that information in the future in the “real world” or in my career. However, I do use memory in more basic and day-to-day activities. I memorize routes to and from destinations, whether that’s intentional or unintentional; this action reminded me of the example Smith referred to in Wysocki’s speech about how an ancient Greek poet used memorization in a “real life” situation.

Over the course of my life, my memory practices have altered altogether or simply improved based on the situation. For example, I’ve improved my memorization in my classes, particularly my Spanish classes. A mnemonic may be useful or even something as goofy as a song could help me remember/memorize information. I’m also a very visual person, so charts, images, or anything of that nature really help me. Some memorization tactics have failed while others have proven to be useful when it comes to memorizing vocabulary words, grammar rules, and so on. In some cases, I’ve completely dropped a memorization tactic because it didn’t work at all or simply tweaked the method so that it would work more efficiently.

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